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To: Jim McMannis who wrote (110295)2/27/2012 4:28:02 PM
From: mindmeld
   of 145216
 
OK. I'll take your word for it. I have no data that shows me that's possible, but neither do I have data that shows me it is not possible. It's just my opinion that commodities so well traded like oil are hard to manipulate. Of course, with all the exotic derivatives used to lever a company's aims, who knows?

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To: Jim McMannis who wrote (110296)2/27/2012 4:28:35 PM
From: mindmeld
   of 145216
 
Yes, I know. It was an honorable thing to do and it cost him his job. We don't have that kind of honor in our Presidents anymore.

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To: Road Walker who wrote (110300)2/27/2012 4:31:06 PM
From: mindmeld
   of 145216
 
Here's something that I find really irritating. We need more transparency in gov't, not less. What is Obama thinking? And don't tell me the messenger is biased against him. It's the NYT for Heaven's sake.

------------
Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth
By DAVID CARRPublished: February 26, 2012

nytimes.com

Last Wednesday in the White House briefing room, the administration’s press secretary, Jay Carney, opened on a somber note, citing the deaths of Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid, two reporters who had died “in order to bring truth” while reporting in Syria.

Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, pointed out that the administration had lauded brave reporting in distant lands more than once and then asked, “How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court?”

He then suggested that the administration seemed to believe that “the truth should come out abroad; it shouldn’t come out here.”

Fair point. The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.

The Espionage Act, enacted back in 1917 to punish those who gave aid to our enemies, was used three times in all the prior administrations to bring cases against government officials accused of providing classified information to the media. It has been used six times since the current president took office.

Setting aside the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst who is accused of stealing thousands of secret documents, the majority of the recent prosecutions seem to have everything to do with administrative secrecy and very little to do with national security.

In case after case, the Espionage Act has been deployed as a kind of ad hoc Official Secrets Act, which is not a law that has ever found traction in America, a place where the people’s right to know is viewed as superseding the government’s right to hide its business.

In the most recent case, John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who became a Democratic staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged under the Espionage Act with leaking information to journalists about other C.I.A. officers, some of whom were involved in the agency’s interrogation program, which included waterboarding.

For those of you keeping score, none of the individuals who engaged in or authorized the waterboarding of terror suspects have been prosecuted, but Mr. Kiriakou is in federal cross hairs, accused of talking to journalists and news organizations, including The New York Times.

Mr. Tapper said that he had not planned on raising the issue, but hearing Mr. Carney echo the praise for reporters who dug deep to bring out the truth elsewhere got his attention.

“I have been following all of these case, and it’s not like they are instances of government employees leaking the location of secret nuclear sites,” Mr. Tapper said. “These are classic whistle-blower cases that dealt with questionable behavior by government officials or its agents acting in the name of protecting America.”

Mr. Carney said in the briefing that he felt it was appropriate “to honor and praise the bravery” of Ms. Colvin and Mr. Shadid, but he did not really engage Mr. Tapper’s broader question, saying he could not go into information about specific cases. He did not respond to an e-mail message seeking comment.

In one of the more remarkable examples of the administration’s aggressive approach, Thomas A. Drake, a former employee of the National Security Agency, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act last year and faced a possible 35 years in prison.

His crime? When his agency was about to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a software program bought from the private sector intended to monitor digital data, he spoke with a reporter at The Baltimore Sun. He suggested an internally developed program that cost significantly less would be more effective and not violate privacy in the way the product from the vendor would. (He turned out to be right, by the way.)

He was charged with 10 felony counts that accused him of lying to investigators and obstructing justice. Last summer, the case against him collapsed, and he pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor, of misuse of a government computer.

Jesselyn Radack, the director for national security and human rights at the Government Accountability Project, was one of the lawyers who represented him.

“The Obama administration has been quite hypocritical about its promises of openness, transparency and accountability,” she said. “All presidents hate leaks, but pursuing whistle-blowers as spies is heavy-handed and beyond the scope of the law.”

Mark Corallo, who served under Attorney General John D. Ashcroft during the Bush administration, told Adam Liptak of The New York Times this month that he was “sort of shocked” by the number of leak prosecutions under President Obama. “We would have gotten hammered for it,” he said.

As Mr. Liptak pointed out, it has become easier to ferret out leakers in a digital age, but just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be.

These kinds of prosecutions can have ripples well beyond the immediate proceedings. Two reporters in Washington who work on national security issues said that the rulings had created a chilly environment between journalists and people who work at the various government agencies.

During a point in history when our government has been accused of sending prisoners to secret locations where they were said to have been tortured and the C.I.A. is conducting remote-controlled wars in far-flung places, it’s not a good time to treat the people who aid in the publication of critical information as spies.

And it’s worth pointing out that the administration’s emphasis on secrecy comes and goes depending on the news. Reporters were immediately and endlessly briefed on the “secret” operation that successfully found and killed Osama bin Laden. And the drone program in Pakistan and Afghanistan comes to light in a very organized and systematic way every time there is a successful mission.

There is plenty of authorized leaking going on, but this particular boat leaks from the top. Leaks from the decks below, especially ones that might embarrass the administration, have been dealt with very differently.

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To: mindmeld who wrote (110318)2/27/2012 4:40:00 PM
From: Road Walker
   of 145216
 
Here's something that I find really irritating. We need more transparency in gov't, not less. What is Obama thinking?

Couldn't agree more. And the fact that they all become paranoid in office is no excuse.

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To: mindmeld who wrote (110317)2/27/2012 4:40:56 PM
From: brushwud
   of 145216
 
Yes, I know. It [Bush Sr. signing a bill to raise taxes] was an honorable thing to do and it cost him his job. We don't have that kind of honor in our Presidents anymore.

There's more to the story. Bush Sr. said, "Read my lips, no new taxes", in his speech accepting the nomination. It was the false bravado more than the tax increase that cost him the election.

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To: brushwud who wrote (110315)2/27/2012 5:30:28 PM
From: ChinuSFO
   of 145216
 
I am talking about the person on the top of the ticket. You are talking about somebody else; the person's wife and her wealth from her first marriage and shared with her kids from that marriage.

I am talking about economics and what a common American has to go through to make a living. You are talking about fighting overseas, because that is what a C-in-C has been doing for the past 50 to 60 years which is ordering US troops into other countries. I am talking about here and you are talking about there.

Have you been watching FOX News a lot lately?

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To: bentway who wrote (110303)2/27/2012 5:37:08 PM
From: mindmeld
   of 145216
 
LOL. You said it best. Taxes exist so that politicians can give a tax holiday. Never let it be said that taxes exist to fund the services we need. That would be hoping for too much. Fiscal discipline, phooey.

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To: John Vosilla who wrote (110306)2/27/2012 5:39:54 PM
From: mindmeld
   of 145216
 
Well, my guess is that housing is probably scraping along the bottom. However, housing prices can stay low for a VERY long time....a lot long than most believe. The banks have huge inventory that needs to be worked through. That can keep the prices depressed for some time. Thx!

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (110321)2/27/2012 6:39:15 PM
From: brushwud
   of 145216
 
Have you been watching FOX News a lot lately?

Thanks for reminding me. That panel show with Bret Baier is about to come on. Kirsten Powers's looks and Charles Krauthammer's brains are a winning combo, if they're the guests. It's even better when Shannon Bream is on.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (110314)2/27/2012 7:17:24 PM
From: mindmeld
   of 145216
 
I also just read that Santorum doesn't believe in separation of Church and State. Looks like we have another Constitution shredder on our hands. Hopefully, that lunatic doesn't get elected.

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